Help Replacing/upgrading bicycle components - seeking advise

Bartek

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Jun 28, 2010
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ewaandbart.webtobiz.net
#1
After 2 years and many hours in the saddle of my first road bicycle I have decided to replace/upgrade some parts and hope for your advice.

The bike I currently ride is Trek 1.2 which is my first ever road bicycle. It is also the only bike I have and it serves me as a multi-purpose vehicle that I use for commuting, touring, training and an occasional race. It is an entry level aluminum frame Trek with Sora groupset and surely nothing special to anyone who’s tried riding bicycles in different price range, equipped with different levels of groupsets or made of different materials. As for me, I do like it, but then again I have nothing to compare it too.

Anyway, in 2 years time of riding about 150km a week on average, I had no issues with it apart from an occasional flat. Recently though, I have noticed some kind of strange noise coming from the rear wheel area. It’s there when I pedal and when I coast, so probably it is the hub, but it could be something else since my knowledge of bike mechanics is very limited. At first I wanted to fix the problem, but after some thinking I decided to do some upgrades. Unfortunately, I am unable to do it all at once and would like to do it in a few smaller steps, but am not totally sure whether or not what I have in mind is possible or at least advised.

Here’s my plan:

1. Replace/upgrade the wheels (this could be done as either the first or last step, preferably in the last step as it is the most expensive part of the upgrade)
2. Replace the cassette and the chain and upgrade it to 105 or Ultegra (from 8 to 10 gears).
But if I do that, do I need to replace the crank as well or can I use what I have currently. And what about the shifters and both derailleurs? With changing the cassette from 8 to 10 gears, do I need to get new shifters and front and back derailleurs too?

3. Replace and upgrade the crank to 105 or Ultegra (if I don’t have to do it in the second step)
4. Replace and upgrade the shifters and derailleurs to 105 or Ultegra (also if I don’t have to do it in the second step)

Finally, I would get a new frame, move the new components from the Trek to the new frame, put the old ones back on the Trek and use the Trek for commuting only.

Any advice will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Bart Z.
 
May 22, 2007
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halffastcycling.com
#2
Replacing the wheels (with good ones) will make the most difference to your riding experience, of all these options. I would do that first.

As you are on Sora, it is both mechanically advisable and economically easier to replace the whole groupset at once. Everything from Tiagra up is now ten-speed.

The cost of a 105 groupset is less than 60,000 yen but if you do it piecemeal it could come to more than half as much again. Ten-speed cassettes require ten-speed shifters, chain, and chainrings.

Although all grades of shifter will operate all grades of brake caliper, the designs differ sufficiently that you'd lose at least 30% of stopping power with a 105+ shifter and a Sora caliper, and conversely your brakes would be extremely twitchy with the reverse set-up. (I think I got that the right way round.) Max stopping power might not be so critical if you mainly ride on the rivers, but living in Chichubu I hope you take advantage of the nearby mountains; in that case you probably don't want to economise on brakeability.

As there's no problem with your current set-up except the noise, I'd suggest that you either get it professionally serviced or ask for help from one of the TCC in-house mechanics (I'd estimate that's at least half of the active users, and they can usually be paid in beer). Squeaks are notoriously difficult to diagnose by e-mail or BBS, so take the time to get someone to look at it 'live', and if possible swap things out to see what makes the noise go away. It might be a simple matter of re-greasing the freewheel mechanism.

Then save up to do the upgrade in one go. Once you've saved up, you may well find that you have enough for a new bike with all the parts you want, so you effectively get the new frame for free!
 

Bartek

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#4
Hi Mike,

Thank you for all the info. It really helps.

Certainly, I wouldn't mind getting a new bike, but for Y60,000 the choice of bicycles as an upgrade to what I have now would be hard to find.

Anyway, replacing the whole group idea sounds good and I think that is what I am going to do. Do you know any good shops/internet websites where I could get a good deal? The only shop in Tokyo that I have been to is Y's Ikebukuro. There is a shop in Chichibu, but the prices here are steep (lack of competition). I could probably order it from Wiggle, but then there is always a risk of duty tax. Are there any good (Japanese) internet shopping sites that you guys use?

As for the mountains around Chichibu, yes I do take advantage of the local slopes. 2 of the schools I visit 2 or 3 times a week are located deep in the mountains and they are much closer to the Saitama/Yamanashi border than they are to Chichibu city. I always look forward to those days. :)

Once again, thank you.

Bart Z.
 
May 22, 2007
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halffastcycling.com
#6
JPY 54,310 (+α depending on options)

Black

http://item.rakuten.co.jp/mapsports-syuppin/10024729/

Silver

http://item.rakuten.co.jp/mapsports-syuppin/10024737/

These are for dual chainring, 10-speed cassette. (Doesn't include the hubs, despite them being in the picture.)

Besides color, you need to choose BB size, cassette range, crank and chainwheel sizes, FD type (braze on, band (small), band (large)), RD type (short cage or long cage).

You'll also need four new cables (2 brake, 2 shifter, inner and outer), and new bar tape.

Ordering the parts is only half the story, though.

Do you plan to amass the tools you need to rebuild it yourself? Mostly Allen keys and grease, but also a chain tool, BB cup removal/assembly, cable cutters, cassette remover, possibly a pedal wrench, ideally some de-greaser, and lots of time. The rest you can learn on YouTube.

If you plan to get it installed at a bike shop, consider ordering it from them too; it will likely work out cheaper in the long run, and you will avoid ruffling feathers.

If the noise is actually coming from your wheel, replacing these components may not fix it.
 

Bartek

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Jun 28, 2010
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#7
Thanks for all the info.
Y54000 is not bad at all. I will consider it for sure.
And sInce Owen says that the duty tax is low on these items I also checked Wiggle and Chain Reaction for the prices. Then I did some more research and came across this website - http://www.cycleparts-west.com/40.html
Now, here's what I call a good deal.
I tried to add items to the shopping cart, but the function doesn't work due to the site meintenance or at least that's what it says anyway.
The prices look good - roughly Y45000 including pedals and the front hub.

Has anyone ever bought anything through them?

Thanks,

Bart Z
 
Sep 2, 2009
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#8
Then I did some more research and came across this website - http://www.cycleparts-west.com/40.html
Now, here's what I call a good deal.
I tried to add items to the shopping cart, but the function doesn't work due to the site meintenance or at least that's what it says anyway.
The prices look good - roughly Y45000 including pedals and the front hub.

Has anyone ever bought anything through them?

Thanks,

Bart Z
Not working due to site maintenance? That would raise alarm bells immediately. Not saying it is a bad company, but that would be my initial impression. Not dealt with them though, so this is just opinion.

Good deal though...
 

Bartek

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#9
Not working due to site maintenance? That would raise alarm bells immediately.
That is exactly what I thought too. I do not know this comapny at all and can only hope that someone on TCC has dealt with them. They have no contact information which is another reason to be suspicious.

I am not sure if they are still in business since the last entry on their NEWS/BLOG top page is from Decemeber 3rd of last year :(

I am afraid the deal is too good to be true.
 
Sep 2, 2009
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#10
The claimed RRP prices before the discount they are offering are inaccurate too, if that is any more reason to be concerned.

Again, if this is a legit business, I do not want this to seem like I am badmouthing them before they have had a chance to defend themselves, and is merely how I see it from a customers point of view.
 

Bartek

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#15
Thanks for the link. Looks like another site with good deals.
Cheers


Do you plan to amass the tools you need to rebuild it yourself? Mostly Allen keys and grease, but also a chain tool, BB cup removal/assembly, cable cutters, cassette remover, possibly a pedal wrench, ideally some de-greaser, and lots of time. The rest you can learn on YouTube.

If you plan to get it installed at a bike shop, consider ordering it from them too; it will likely work out cheaper in the long run, and you will avoid ruffling feathers.

If the noise is actually coming from your wheel, replacing these components may not fix it.
The only shop in Chichibu would probably do it for free if I ordered the groupset through them, but their price for the components would much higher.

I will most likely end up getting the necessary tools as well as all the other little pieces and bits and try doing it by myself. I enjoy working on my bicycle so it should be fun.

And yes it would be funny to discover that the noise is still there after replacing everything apart from the frame and wheels :)
 
Sep 2, 2009
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#16
Mate, I am in Saitama near Omiya. I will happily help you with this; I have everything you need to fit a full groupset.
 

GSAstuto

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Oct 11, 2009
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#17
Wow! Insanely low prices. Even a Shimano Dealer couldn't touch these --- http://www.cycleparts-west.com/23_465.html More than 10,000 yen below Dealer Cost ???

As an FYI - according to their 'group' price of Ultegra (which I'm highly familiar with) - they add into about 68,000 yen. To be honest - I can sell these for about 70,000 yen as part of an OE bike - but it's coming directly from an OE assembler and NOT official Shimano Dealer Channel. And the actual profit margin is less than 10%. So - we're talking very thin margins here. Point is - you cannot be a business in Japan and sell Shimano parts (without losing money) and gaining the wrath of Shimano at these prices.

sidenote - Shimano actually offers a 'bounty' to report such offenders.

So - if ANY Japanese Dealer (onsite or not) is selling OTC 3rd party (like this) , they are gonna get shut down quickly. However - they could be a front company for a Malaysian 3rd Shift outfit - in such case - it would be hard for Shimano to stop them.


Hmmmm,,,,

The claimed RRP prices before the discount they are offering are inaccurate too, if that is any more reason to be concerned.

Again, if this is a legit business, I do not want this to seem like I am badmouthing them before they have had a chance to defend themselves, and is merely how I see it from a customers point of view.
 

FarEast

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May 25, 2009
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#19
Wow! Insanely low prices. Even a Shimano Dealer couldn't touch these --- http://www.cycleparts-west.com/23_465.html More than 10,000 yen below Dealer Cost ???

As an FYI - according to their 'group' price of Ultegra (which I'm highly familiar with) - they add into about 68,000 yen. To be honest - I can sell these for about 70,000 yen as part of an OE bike - but it's coming directly from an OE assembler and NOT official Shimano Dealer Channel. And the actual profit margin is less than 10%. So - we're talking very thin margins here. Point is - you cannot be a business in Japan and sell Shimano parts (without losing money) and gaining the wrath of Shimano at these prices.

sidenote - Shimano actually offers a 'bounty' to report such offenders.

So - if ANY Japanese Dealer (onsite or not) is selling OTC 3rd party (like this) , they are gonna get shut down quickly. However - they could be a front company for a Malaysian 3rd Shift outfit - in such case - it would be hard for Shimano to stop them.


Hmmmm,,,,
Have to disagree on that-

Actually - There are certain store in Japan such as Sagami Cycles and others that have been around so long and sells such a large volume of Shimano product as well as been a technical centre for them that they can get away with the "Super Low" prices - in fact Shimano "reward" them with these low prices.

Last time I was in Sagami Cycles with Yair they were selling the latest Dura Ace mechanical for 160,000 JPY - thats the complete set! (Excluding hubs of course)

MyX in Yokohama is also another store that has crazy low Shimano prices,Mtb only though. So this might be one of these HIGH volume stores.

Also in regards to off shore retailing - well they could be doing what CRC and WIGGLE are doing which is buyying OEM for the shop builds which is totally legitimate.

At the end of the day its pretty easy to tell they are legit..... they are a Campy Dealer and they move faster than anyone when it comes to rogue traders of thier kit!
 

Bartek

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Jun 28, 2010
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#20
Mate, I am in Saitama near Omiya. I will happily help you with this; I have everything you need to fit a full groupset.
Thank you Owen. I appreciate that. Once I get things sorted out I will PM you to see when it is most convenient for you. I am not sure if I will be able to buy it this month or next, but once I do I will definitely let you know. On the other hand, as Tim suggested...

So - if ANY Japanese Dealer (onsite or not) is selling OTC 3rd party (like this) , they are gonna get shut down quickly.
... I should hurry up and get what I need at this very low price http://www.bici-sana.com/shop/index.html before the site gets shot down as what has happened to cycleparts-west.com I believe.